2017 Iowa Library Association Conference, part 1


The 2016 Iowa Library Association Annual Conference logo.


For this episode of B Sides, we meet with a couple University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science students who attended the 2016 Iowa Library Association Conference, which was held in Dubuque, Iowa in October.

The ILA Annual Conference is “a unique opportunity to engage with our colleagues from around the state, participate in and glean new ideas from conference sessions, and build and broaden our professional expertise.” (ILA 2016 Conference Program)

Second year students Laura Sauser and Shari Neal share with us why they decided to go to the conference and why they recommend others attend.

“For me, coming to library school is looking at a career change for myself. I’m going to school and getting the foundational classes; I’m also working at a public library. We walked in with some technical expertise and this [conference] made it more real-life.” -Laura Sauser, 2016

For Shari and Laura, the ILA conference was a opportunity to practice advocacy and build networks with potential future colleagues and employers. It was also an opportunity for them to learn about current issues and glean inspiration from practicing librarians throughout the state; inspiration they could potentially walk away and immediately use in their own jobs.

“It’s interesting to know what the issues, and what’s coming up…what’s trending in libraries. […] She [the speaker from St. Ambrose) talked about how to educate undergraduates to handle archives and primary sources. It was a CSI course that she had set up with artifacts and crimes [that had been committed unto them].” -Shari Neal, 2016


Interning at the National September 11th Memorial & Museum

Rebekah Walker, a Master’s degree candidate in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa, speaks to us about her summer interning at the National September 11th Memorial & Museum, located at the World Trade Center site in New York City.

A lifetime lover of museums, Bekah saw an opportunity to spend her last summer of freedom working in an unforgettable location, and she took it.

“I think that my specific feelings and passion about that museum helped separate my application.” -Bekah Walker, 2016

In this episode, Bekah discusses her experience applying for summer internships, her duties on the job, and the power of objects and museums to bring people around the world together.

“They say that the museum is just as much about 9/12 as it is about 9/11. It’s about how society has changed as a result of the attacks[…], so they really do try to relate the museum’s exhibitions to other things that are happening.”  -Bekah Walker, 2016

This summer, Bekah wrote a talk called Letters from Ground Zero. She gave the talk internally in August, but this coming spring she will return to New York to deliver it to the public.

“Everyone knows what it’s like to get a piece of mail, to get it from someone in your family. You see mail around and most people don’t really think about it because it’s so commonplace. But in this case it really represents something that is more meaningful and could form a deep connection between people.”  -Bekah Walker, 2016

Introducing the B Sides Podcast!

Welcome to the first episode of the B Sides Podcast, a podcast that explores the eclectic and evolving world of Library and Information Science, hosted by members of the School of Library and Information Science and the University of Iowa.

In this episode, student producers Bethany Kluender and Katie Gandhi and faculty advisor Lindsay Mattock talk about how B Sides got started, why it has evolved to a podcast, what it is, and how you can participate.

“There are lots of different ways in which you can contribute to the podcast, whether it’s just contributing your ideas, or actually serving as a panelist, in any [number] of forms.” –Lindsay Mattock, 2016

Although right now we just study to obtain our Master’s degrees in Library and Information Science, one day we will be practitioners in the field. Our time in graduate school is full of valuable opportunities for learning, teaching, exploring, and questioning.

“One of our goals here is to capture a diversity of experience and position.” -Bethany Kluender, 2016

This podcast serves to capture some of this insight to both help inform those that follow us and to allow us to learn from each other now, in an effort to enrich our professional and personal lives and make us all better librarians in the future.